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With DA6102 Multi-channel PMIC, Digital Cameras Now More Agile and Efficient than Ever


By Robert Rozario

Nearly every smartphone on the market is equipped with a digital camera, but not every user is a master photographer. Despite their ability to capture Instagram-worthy selfies, these cameras are only an ancillary feature, and are hardly the tool of choice for more discerning professionals.

Rather, the pros today turn to either digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras or professional-grade mirrorless designs.

DSLRs typically employ the same size image sensor as the 35mm film that’s been the go-to canvas for photographers for generations, using a mirror within the camera body to reflect light coming through the lens up to a prism, which then reflects the shot into the viewfinder. Mirrorless models are designed to allow light to pass through the lens onto an image sensor, resulting in far less bulky and complicated lens than DSLR counterparts, and a smaller package overall.

This compact design is one of the primary factors driving the success of mirrorless cameras of late. Their smaller form grants photographers greater agility to capture an array of shots, and often feature additional electronic viewfinder screens, thanks in part to the space saved by using a relatively compact mirror less lens.

But in many comparisons between DSLR and mirrorless cameras, size and convenience seem to be the only advantage mirrorless has over the competition, making it an ideal choice for the more casual photographer, but lacking in terms of precision and additional features that the pros require. And although DSLR designs offer significantly greater lens options and accessories, mirrorless cameras are nearing parity with DSLR in terms of features like autofocus and preview, while actually pulling ahead when it comes to video and shooting speed.

To help DSLR manufacturers slim down their product offerings without compromising the features that make their cameras “best-in-class,” we’ve developed the DA6102 power management IC (PMIC). This 2S battery PMIC can be used in both DSLR and mirrorless cameras to help improve efficiency by up to 3 percent compared to traditional discrete solutions, allowing for longer run times for 2S lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion). The boon to DSLR makers is the fact that DA6102 cuts heat dissipation markedly in tightly enclosed spaces, which allows manufacturers to trim down on their form factors and implement thinner-profile end applications.

The latest generation image sensors used today are very sensitive to heat, making a high-efficiency PMIC a requirement for cameras to deliver optimal image capture performance.  The DA6102’s compact 2.97x3.375mm WLCSP, along with up to 3MHz switching frequency operation, enables components with less than 1mm height and a small total PCB area, resulting in 60 percent space saved within the camera compared to conventional discrete power management solutions.

By extending battery life and enabling smaller solutions and thinner profile end applications, the DA6102 enables additional features in a tightly constrained space for DSLR manufacturers. This will help them eat away at the competitive edge – size and agility – that mirrorless has established in the recent past, giving the world better images through longer battery life and stronger agility.